Portsmouth ship HMS St Albans makes second major drugs seizure in two weeks

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PORTSMOUTH ship HMS St Albans has carried out its second drugs bust in the Mediterranean in as many weeks

The ship seized around 320kg of cannabis woth £1m.

HMS St Albans and a Merlin helicopter

HMS St Albans and a Merlin helicopter

Having left Portsmouth on a nine-month deployment less that a fortnight ago the Type 23 frigate stopped the drug smugglers during a routine security patrol and prevented thenarcotics reaching European markets.

It is the second drugs bust carried out by a Royal Navy vessel in the area in the past two weeks, as HMS Richmond also recovered 1,015 kg of cannabis worth around £3 million.

While on patrol, HMS St Albans spotted a small boat acting suspiciously and so launched her Merlin helicopter, this spooked the small boat crew who then tossed several large packages into the water before speeding off into the dusk.

The frigate then sent one of her sea boats to investigate the packages which later turned out to be 320kg of cannabis resin.

St Albans’ second in command, Lieutenant Commander Jeff Gulliver, said: ‘The Mediterranean is a well known smuggling route for drugs into Europe and the UK. The team have trained long and hard at home for tasks such as this.

‘Having only just eployed from UK last Monday, it is great for them to prove themselves so soon. I’m proud of my sailors for reacting so quickly and helping to keep these drugs off the streets.’

Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt added: ‘After just two weeks on operations HMS St Albans is already having a tangible effect in ensuring the security of the UK by keeping these illicit drugs off our streets.

‘ I wish her crew fair winds and following seas for the remainder of their deployment.’

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